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Brussels Privacy Hub Doctoral seminar with Ana Fernández on 'Big Data and the questions regarding data protection: an ethical overview of privacy by design'

Location: Microsoft Teams
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The Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH) is organising a Doctoral Seminar series to give the opportunity to Ph.D. candidates working on privacy and data protection topics at the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) to present and discuss their work in progress. The aim of the series is to offer Ph.D. students at all research stages a training ground to refine and practice debating their scientific work, and to receive qualified feedback and questions from their peers and privacy and data protection experts. To this aim, each seminar will include a short presentation by the Ph.D. candidate, followed by an open discussion session with the audience. Seminars are also open to external participants. Find more information here.

On 22 February 2021, Ana Fernández will be discussing her PhD project on 'Big Data and the questions regarding data protection: an ethical overview of privacy by design'.


Data protection law in Europe has limitations and does not fully cope with all the issues caused by the global phenomenon of Big Data analytics. This research aims to expose the problems that we, as a society, face with the increased use of Big Data Analytics and behavioural studies, and how limited the data protection tools we have are to protect citizens from these abusive practices (which mostly use non-personal data). In my PhD, I want to develop a study on the agency of Big Data, in order to share light on the influence that Big Data analytics has on its users. By studying the ethics of Big Data and taking a philosophical approach linked to the “the agency of technology”, I will help unveil limitations of data protection law in this area and gain a better understanding of the influence of Big Data Analytics over people. My conclusions will help to improve current regulations, especially the rules on ‘privacy by design‘ (data protection by design).